MarketAxess (NASDAQ:MKTX) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $246.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price indicates a potential upside of 10.86% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “MarketAxess Holdings’ earnings per share of $1.02 beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9.7% and was up 13.3% year over year. Strong results were driven by gains across core products, higher market trading volume and better Eurobond volumes.  The company’s revenues have been consistently rising for the past several years on the back of a steady increase in commission. Its growth strategies such as acquisitions and alliances have also contributed to its top-line improvement. Its product suite of the highly demanded U.S. high-grade floating rate and other credit bonds are likely to broaden its scope for volume growth. Shares of the company have outperformed its industry’s increase year to date. Nevertheless, escalating costs remain a woe for the company for quite some time. Moreover, with the ongoing investments in several areas, the metric is going to mount higher in the upcoming quarters.”

MKTX has been the topic of several other reports. BidaskClub lowered MarketAxess from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, December 1st. Goldman Sachs Group initiated coverage on MarketAxess in a report on Monday, November 5th. They set a “sell” rating on the stock. Barclays reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $198.00 target price on shares of MarketAxess in a report on Friday, October 12th. Finally, ValuEngine raised MarketAxess from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 4th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. MarketAxess currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $211.63.

Shares of NASDAQ:MKTX opened at $221.91 on Wednesday. MarketAxess has a 52-week low of $172.09 and a 52-week high of $229.84. The stock has a market capitalization of $8.35 billion, a PE ratio of 52.23, a PEG ratio of 9.86 and a beta of 0.09.

MarketAxess (NASDAQ:MKTX) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 24th. The financial services provider reported $1.02 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.09. MarketAxess had a return on equity of 29.40% and a net margin of 37.97%. The firm had revenue of $101.44 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $101.19 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.90 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.1% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts anticipate that MarketAxess will post 4.51 EPS for the current year.

In other MarketAxess news, CEO Richard M. Mcvey sold 23,842 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $211.93, for a total value of $5,052,835.06. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,054,986 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $223,583,182.98. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Kevin M. Mcpherson sold 2,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $216.89, for a total value of $542,225.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.52% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of MKTX. Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new stake in MarketAxess in the second quarter valued at approximately $3,769,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its holdings in MarketAxess by 96.7% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 9,988 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,976,000 after purchasing an additional 4,911 shares during the period. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in MarketAxess by 22.0% in the second quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 9,654 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,910,000 after purchasing an additional 1,740 shares during the period. TD Asset Management Inc. grew its holdings in MarketAxess by 5.0% in the second quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 21,000 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,155,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Finally, Alps Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in MarketAxess in the second quarter valued at approximately $205,000. 99.27% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

MarketAxess Company Profile

MarketAxess Holdings Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates an electronic trading platform that enables fixed-income market participants to trade corporate bonds and other types of fixed-income instruments worldwide. It offers institutional investor and broker-dealer the access to global liquidity in U.S.

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